fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Coca-Cola Lottery" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 07:15:19 -0500
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Coca-Cola Online season Winners International programs held on the 15th November,2014. Your E-mail address attached to ticket #:538-6064-31, with prize #:52-418-042, drew $1,500,000.00 which was in the 2nd category of the draws. You are to receive $1,500,000.00 (One Million,Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).This program is in conjunction with Australian, British and European Governments and the Coca-Cola bottling company International.
Because of mix up in cash pay-outs, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your winning prize ($1,500,000.00) is fully remitted to you by our accredited pay-point bank. You are advised to adhere to this instruction so as to forestall the abuse of this program by other participants.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR CASH PRIZE TO YOU, CONTACT OUR PAYING BANK ADDRESS WRITTEN BELOW.
Send them the following informations:
(i) Your name.
(ii) Contact telephone
(iii) Contact Address.
(v) Quote amount won.
(vi) Notification date.
PAYING BANK CONTACT.
Contact Person: Mrs. Rebecca Stark
Congratulation once again from the Coca Cola Online Award Department.
Note: DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. CONTACT YOUR PAYING BANK DIRECTLY FOR YOUR CLAIMS. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PAY A FEE TO CLAIM YOUR WINNINGS, IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Yours in service,
Dr. Chris Martin.
Coca-cola Lottery Co-ordinator.
Attention: This message may contain private or confidential data and is intended only for the person(s) named. If you are not the intended recipient, then disclosing, copying, or distributing the contents of this message is strictly prohibited. If you received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the message.